Classical and Instrumental Horror Music Playlist

Gothic and Horror Classical and Instrumental Music Playlist

Here's a collection of Classical and Instrumental music to set the perfect tone for Halloween.

Dies Irae

You may recognize this from the opening scenes of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. Dies Irae dates from the thirteenth century and literally translates as Day of Wrath. In the nineteenth century French composer Hector Berlioz adapted it and included it in his Symphonie Fantastique. It was in turn adapted by Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind for The Shining soundtrack.


Music For Strings, Percussion and Celesta (Adagio)

Another piece of classical music included in The Shining soundtrack, composed by Béla Bartók in 1936. It is sometimes referred to as Bartók's Night Music and was also used as the theme music for The Vampira Show.

Night on Bald Mountain

Composed by nineteenth century Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky, it is about witches' gathering for their sabbat. It was also used in Walt Disney's Fantasia (1940).

Danse Macabre

Originally a song with the lyrics written by poet Henri Cazalis. It recounts the French legend about Death, who each Halloween makes the dead rise to dance with him as he plays the fiddle. In 1874 it was reworked by composer Camille Saint-Saëns. It is now recognisable as the theme music to the UK mystery series Jonathan Creek.

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor

Attributed to Johann Sebastian Bach, this is an essential piece of Halloween music.

Carmina Burana

Composed by Carl Orff in the 1930s, it is the go-to scary music.

In the Hall of the Mountain

Composed by Edvard Grieg in 1876 for the Henrik Ibsen play Peer Gynt. British readers will recognize it as the music used for the theme park Alton Towers.

Tubular Bells

Released in 1973 by Mike Oldfield. It was made famous after it appeared as part of the The Exorcist soundtrack.


More Classical and Instrumental Music

    • The Isle of the Dead - Sergei Rachmaninov
    • The Masque of the Red Death - André Caplet, based on the Poe short story.
    • Transylvanian Lullaby - John Morris, theme from Young Frankenstein
    • Dance of the Witches – John Williams, from the movie The Witches of Eastwick
    • Double Trouble – John Williams, from the soundtrack to Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban
    • Omens Of Nosferatu - Nosferatu Overture, original score from the 1922 silent film
    • Psycho Suite - Bernard Herrmann, from Hitchcock's Psycho
    • Darkness – Tangerine Dream, from the movie Legend
    • House on Haunted Hill – Frank De Vol
    • Candy Man - Matt K & Fin S, from the Candy Man soundtrack.
    • Midnight Rider - Sceptre
    • Unhallowed Ground - Midnight Syndicate
    • Night of the Vampire – The Moontrekkers
    • Amityville Theme - Lalo Schifrin
    • Fog Theme - John Carpenter
    • The Thing Theme - Ennio Morricone


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